Rugby: All Blacks coach Hansen plays down England link amid criticism of Jones

(From left) Alex Payne of Sky Sports interviews England head coach Eddie Jones and New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Pool Draw at the Kyoto State Guest House on May 10, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - New Zealand rugby union boss Steve Hansen insists there is no chance that he would be interested in taking over from England coach Eddie Jones.

His contract with the All Blacks expires after the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

But the 58-year-old is certain he will not take charge of another international side if he does step down.

England finished a disappointing fifth in this year's Six Nations.

However, Jones is tied to the team until 2021 after signing a two-year extension in January that is subject to a break clause dependent on performance at the global showpiece.

"I can say I won't be coaching England," Hansen told BBC Radio Five Live on Sunday (March 18).

"If I was going to stay coaching international rugby then I'd stay coaching the All Blacks. It's a massive time commitment, no matter what team you're with.

"It would have to be right for the family and the team. If it's not right for both those parties, it wouldn't be right for me to go off and coach someone else. I'd rather stay and do it in New Zealand if it was right.

"I don't know what I'll do when the day comes for me to finish, but coaching is in my blood.

"I'll probably be coaching until the day I die. Whether that's in England, we'll have to wait and see."

Successive defeats by Scotland, France and Ireland have registered England's worst Championship performance since 1987.

But Hansen believes that they have suffered from providing the bulk of the squad for last year's British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

Hansen and Jones will go head to head on Nov 10 in the second of the four internationals staged at Twickenham this year.

"You don't want to be panicking too much up there. England are a good rugby side," Hansen said.

"They have some very good players and one of the best coaches in the world. They should have a bit faith and I'm sure they'll come back.

"Yes they've lost three in a row and that's the reality, but it doesn't make them a poor side and nor does it mean they're in crisis.

"They have a few players out injured and a big workload because of the Lions, so they just need an off-season where they take a breath and I'm sure we'll see a really good side in November.

"It's always tough after a Lions tour, where they had so many involved and then not having a break when they got back."

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